BPD changes emails after Nero acquittal

Posted at 5:28 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 07:14:05-04

Last year, while Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby read the charges against six Baltimore police officers to cheers in the crowd, she made sure to reference a Baltimore police policy on seat belting prisoners.

She mentioned it at least five times.

The lack of belting Freddie Gray caused his death she charged and the six officers did not follow policy at several stops along the way.

That policy is number 1114 and it made it mandatory to belt prisoners in wagons.

It was a policy change emailed out to rank and file just two and a half days before Gray's arrest, an email the first two of six officers said at trial they never saw or were told about before the morning of April 12, 2015.

See also: Did Baltimore police officers charged with Freddie Gray's death know about new seat belt policy?

It was evidence presented in two trials highlighting the lack of communication and training; evidence that so far may have helped result in a mistrial and was a central reason for Officer Edward Nero's acquittal Monday morning.

Almost on cue, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis announced nearly exactly 24 hours after the verdict that BPD is fixing that.

"The BPD will ensure that each police officer has reviewed policies and training material as directed."

Power DMS, a software the department demonstrated Tuesday morning and will roll out by July 1, will now ensure police officers not only receive new policy changes, training modules and emails, but also allow for the department to know if they read it and acknowledged it.

Measurable accountability, the commissioner called it, a web based application to make policy changes not only accessible, but trackable as well.

"This is something very, very good for our police officers, puts them in a position of possessing knowledge and it is a very, very good thing for leadership," Davis said. "Because our organizational expectations can now be communicated in a way that we can definitively measure."

But the past may still be an issue.

Lack of knowledge of that BPD seatbelt order is most assuredly going to come up in future trials.

Officer Caesar Goodson's case starts June 6 and whether or not he was aware or trained in the new belting policy could prove to be central in his case as well.

Follow Brian Kuebler on Twitter @BrianfromABC2.